Hyundai is planning to start selling its new Genesis large sedan in Europe in 2014 as part of attempts to challenge the home advantage of luxury brands BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The South Korean carmaker said that the Genesis will be its first premium sedan sold in Europe, where it is trying to get rid of its image as a value-for-money brand.
Hyundai said in a statement that it has to overcome the challenge of competing with established European brands. The carmaker said it expects the Genesis to play a crucial role in improving Hyundai’s brand recognition.
Hyundai recently revealed the rendering of the new Genesis, which is actually the car’s first major overhaul in almost six years. Hyundai is planning to launch the new Genesis in South Korea in November, with further rollouts in United States and other countries to follow in 2014.
Hyundai currently does not offer any premium vehicle in Europe, where the dominance of European brands has left even Japanese premium brands Lexus and Infiniti scrambling for money. Hyundai considers the US and South Korea as vital markets for the Genesis, which sells in smaller numbers than the Sonata and Elantra cars but earns higher margins, according to analysts.
Hyundai and affiliate Kia managed to nearly double their combined market share to 6.1 percent in 2012 from 2008 by offering stylish affordable cars with generous warranties. While Hyundai-Kia has seen sales drop 0.7 percent in the first nine months of 2013, their performance is still better than the overall market, which declined 4 percent.